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Sunday, October 9, 2011

One Year Breast Cancer Anniversary month...

OK, here I am one year after my breast cancer diagnosis. It has been a strange year for sure. Emotions have been up and down (mostly up) and the understanding of life after a double mastectomy has been a slow process at times. For me, the soreness and tenderness is still present and according to my doctors, may always be there. Well darn!!!

I do miss “the girls” at times, especially when it is in the 90’s and I don’t want to wear the heavy, silicone fake boobs because they sweat! YUCK!!! Do I regret not having reconstructive surgery… honestly, yes at times I do. But, most of the time I am perfectly happy with the way it is. After all, I can go bigger or smaller if I want…hehe! I also learned why the fake boobs are heavy… I was outdoors wearing the lightweight foam ones and I reached up to cut a dead branch from a tree in the front yard and the little suckers ended up being up around my neck instead of where they should be. My hubby looked at me in shock and I just couldn’t stop laughing. We had moved to our new house a week earlier and I think he looked around as fast as I did see if anyone was watching. I have not worn the foam ones since. LOL!!!

I have learned that people who love you do not like to talk about the fact that you have had cancer. It is always there, yet I think the word cancer still scares people so much that they are afraid if it is discussed, it makes it too real to them and the thought of my death and suffering gets in their heads even though I am cancer free at this time. Also, I think the reality of their mortality come to mind.

I’ve also learned that there are those who feel that because they removed the total cancer with surgery and that I didn’t have to go through chemo, that I really didn’t have cancer. For awhile I felt guilty that I didn’t have to endure the stuff others have had to go through with this dreaded disease… duh! I now feel totally blessed that mine was found at such an early stage. I was told by my cancer doctor that due to the type of cancer I had (negative receptor estrogen and very aggressive cancer), if it had not been found at the time it was, that by the next scheduled mammogram would have possibly been too late to save me. OK, that totally put it into perspective for me. Guilt gone!!!

Yup… A lot has happened in the last year… we have sold and bought a new home. I had forgotten how much work is involved with all that, but it is so nice to finally be settled in. I have a new scrap room that is smaller than my old one, but I love it. I have spent much more time with family and friends and am grateful for the opportunity to do so. I am finally finding some time to get in my scrap room and think I will begin making Christmas cards this week. I have missed a lot of information about the scrapping world this past year and have not spent much money on anything new. I don’t even know what the new carts that have come out look like as it doesn’t appear they are putting the books on the Cricut site now. I have seen the new Expression 2 and hopefully, next year it will be my new machine of choice. At this point, I will use my trusty expression, my pazzles and all of the stuff I have accumulated over the past four years. Maybe then I will actually have room to add new stuff.

Most importantly, after all that has happened, my faith is stronger than ever. God certainly has been with me and my blessings have been huge. I have so much to be thankful for and my internet scrapping buddies are right up there at the top of that list. Life is good – God is GREAT!!!

Please take time to be tested for breast cancer. If you do not have the insurance or funds to do this, this is the month to look for free mammograms offered everywhere. Do not be afraid and please, DO IT NOW!!!!


Samantha J Designs (Wife2TJ) said...

Congratulations on being cancer free for a year! I had to laugh about your boob comments. So glad your doing well and you are a very strong person :-)

Audrey Frelx said...

Oh, Bren, I am so very happy to hear from you!!! I have been so concerned wondering how you were! And I've said so many prayers for you!

It is just wonderful to hear you sounding chipper, and having laughter in your heart -- God is truly blessing you, my friend, and you so deserve His blessings!

Take care, my friend, and please continue to keep us informed on how well you're doing; I'm loving reading your post. Thanks too for the alerting everyone to get their mammograms -- that is such an important test! I had mine just several months ago. I've had enough scares not to go and do what is necessary -- so I'll enforce getting the message out!

I love you, Bren! Take care and may God continue to shower you with love and courage!

Peggy T. said...

Bren, it is so good to hear from you. You have definitely had some struggles this past year. You sound uplifted though. So glad you're doing well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bren,
I clicked on a link to your blog from another one...I've not seen or heard from you for so long and was happy to see your smiling face. I miss you and your posts on the mb. I'm glad to read that you're doing well and that you're settled in your new home. I'm lol over your foam falsies up to your neck...that must have been quite a sight. Your poor hubby...I'm sure he was embarassed for you. I could just see you w the giggles and not able to stop...oh my!
I pray that God will continue to bless you and heal you, emotionally as well as physically.
I hope to see more of your beautiful smile in the future!
aka cyimbugbitten

Treva said...

Congrats on such wonderful news, I have a very dear friend that is celebrating the very samething! Thank you for sharing your story and reminding your blog visitors to be tested.

Cathy said...

Praise God!!!
Congratulations on your one year anniversary!!!

Sharon R said...

I just had to leave a comment (which I don't do often) because I too had a mastectory in July. It was found with my routine mammo and thank goodness was not invasive. There were 3 areas to be removed so a lumpectomy was not an option. I too still have a lot of soreness and was hoping this was only temporary. My surgeon really did a very poor job of preparing me for this as she said by 2 weeks everything would be fine and soreness gone. Not the case at all. Anyway, I'm so glad to hear that you are doing well and pray for continued wellness for us both.

moknowsall said...

thanks for the update. I was following Monique as well as you in your successful battle against this awful diease. You are a survivor - good for you.... thanks for the inspiration -- i do get my mamo every year ---so far so good.